Looking at The Internet by country is a difficult thing to do. There are variables that make comparison difficult such as the amount of population in cities where wired and wireless connection is easier than in rural areas. Then there is the concept of costs; a fabulous speed is not so special if the costs are much higher than a similar speed at a far lower price. Taxes and duties can make it a luxury item in Central European countries like Belgium. Reliability means as much as speed to many users, and then there is simply the quality of the experience, whether it is cluttered with adverts and difficult to navigate.
With the sole criterion of internet connection speed, these five European nations ranked in the second half of the top ten.
- 10. Finland – 12.2 Mbps- gets into the top with a sparkling 33 percent year to year increase in speeds. Finland is a wealthy country that values education, which suggests that speed is only part of the value it places on the Internet.
- 9. Czech Republic -12.3 Mbps- it is one of the fast growing economies in all of Europe; the Internet has been vital to its success.
- 8. Ireland – with an average speed of 12.7Mbps; it has a 24 percent growth over the past year.
- 7. Latvia- 13 Mbps- the best in a region that has been torn by war and slowly rebuilt. It is the leader in Eastern Europe.
- 6. Netherlands – 14.2 Mbps- with multiple languages and the bustling connectedness of central Europe, it is a cultural and economic hub.
The top five in world rankings for connection speed are a mixture or European and North East Asian countries. Interesting to note that the eminent world powers Russia, USA, and China are not in the top groups.
- 5. Switzerland has the advantages of small size and concentrations in cities; it has an average speed of 14.5. This represents a 21 percent increase over the previous year.
- 4. Sweden, at number four worldwide, has the top speed in Europe at 14.5 Mbps.
- 3. Japan was number three at 15.2 Mbps with a tradition based on Sony, Fujitsu, and leadership in innovation.
- 2. Hong Kong – an average of 16.8Mbps and a remarkable improvement over the previous year at 37 percent.
- 1. South Korea- 22.2Mbps – The top speed by country is South Korea. Seoul is among the most wired cities on Earth. As the home of several of the leading manufacturers of mobile devices, it is fitting that this young leader Nation continues to hold its rank as the best average speed for Internet connections.
Price versus Value
The value of internet services is another consideration, and it involves the comparative price of Internet access. Heavily subsidized eastern Europe and Russia have low prices. Asia has the highest prices. The value is most critical to growth in nations with the least Internet usage. Some are blocked by government actions such as Iran, others by poverty such as Malawi. But everywhere, the Internet is a valuable path to global connection and growth.